One of the main optimization challenges for website and mobile developers is how to display sufficiently high quality images to their visitors while minimizing the image file size. A smaller image file size can lead to faster load times, reduced bandwidth costs and an improved user experience. The problem is that reducing the file size too much may lead to a lower image quality and could harm visitor satisfaction. Delivering an optimized image with just the right balance between size and quality can be quite tricky.
How I used Cloudinary to solve responsive image needs in my Jekyll website, and shared the magic in a plugin
This is a guest post by Nicolas Hoizey, co-founder of Clever Age and creator of the Jekyll Cloudinary plugin. Nicolas’ plugin leverages Cloudinary’s image storage, optimization, resizing, and delivery infrastructures to automate responsive images in Jekyll-generated static sites. We think it’s the bee’s knees, and invited Nicolas to write a bit about the process and motivation behind it. Without further ado, here’s Nicolas.
I'll start by giving it to you straight:
As part of the recent "auto–everything" launch, we introduced two new transformation parameters –
w_auto, which pair the
Width Client Hints with Cloudinary’s existing image resizing and delivery infrastructure, in order to serve up simple, automatic responsive images.
One of the most important things to know about compressing image files is that a smaller file size comes at the cost of a lower image quality. How much lower, and whether low enough to make a difference visually, depends on the image. Compression can be very effective at reducing the size of the image, and besides lowering the costs of storage space and bandwidth, a reduced image size goes a long way to retaining your users’ attention with faster, smaller downloads.
The Rolling Stones claim, “You can’t always get what you want”.
And when your application needs to crop hundreds or thousands of images to specific sizes within a strictly defined UI design, that frustrating Rolling Stones phrase may be ringing in your ears.
But maybe it doesn’t have to.
Every image is unique and every one of your website visitors is different. In a perfect world, we'd like to adapt each image individually to be "just right" for every user. With "just right" being perfectly cropped, using responsive dimensions, correct encoding settings and optimal quality with the best image format.